I have always worked closely with charities through my different businesses but have never had a real connection with any of them. My thoughts now are very different now and this page hopefully explains how I ended up doing what I do...
At the end of 2015 I was invited as a guest to the Bloodwise Fundraisers award dinner in central London and I found myself inspired by the people that have gone above and beyond for the charity and raised hundreds, even thousands of pounds doing things that tested them mentally and physically. I had been invited because of a new working relationship with the charity, but also because I was lucky enough to work with Bloodwise (then Leukaemia Research) when they first ventured into triathlon and I have kept in touch ever since.
So in early 2016 I decided to forget competitive triathlons for a season. I decided that I wanted to mix it up and do something for charity, something out of my comfort zone and something that would make people think 'that's nuts, I'll sponsor him'!
The problem I found myself faced with was that because of my job as a coach and my background as an athlete, people assumed that most things come relatively easy to me. Because of this I had to think of challenges that would really make people stop and dig deep into their pockets to help me raise lots of money for the charity. So, in 2016 I decided to challenge myself to a series of challenges (that are explained in more detail at the bottom of this page, just scroll down if you want to see me suffer!)
In March 2017 my younger brother Paul was diagnosed with terminal cancer. To be precise Paul's full diagnosis was 'Colangiocarcinoma Cancer of Unknown Primary , with Liver Metastases'. Without the medical speak this meant that wherever Paul's cancer originated it couldn't be found and had spread to his liver where it had spread making it inoperable and non-curable.
Unfortunately, my brother passed on Saturday 14th October 2017 after fighting like a trooper he lost his battle with this awful disease and at this point my life changed forever. On that night part of me died with him, something that can never be replaced and with almost immediate effect we decided that Paul's name was not going to be something else that died and we started 'The Paul Brame Foundation'. Paul's foundation has become a real passion for me, my family and our mission is to raise money to help others in memory of Paul and allow his name to live on continuing to make people smile, laugh and be happy!
The foundation is currently being officially registered and gaining official charity status. We hope that in 2018 Paul's foundation will really push on and raise loads of money through donations and fund raising to really make a difference. Watch this space and please visit the foundations facebook page, twitter feed and website for more information.
Right now I am planning the 2018 challenges for myself and these will be announced very soon. I promise they will be tough and worthy of you digging deep in your pockets! Unlike in 2016 when I attempted the challenges because I wanted to, I now have a reason... everything I do going forward from this day is in memory of my little brother!
On top of the work I now do for my brother's foundation I still work closely with other charities. My coaching business RG Active is an official partner to Bloodwise who I raised money for in 2016 and whom I have worked with in a number of capacities since they ventured into triathlon in the early 2000's. RG Active has also worked with MacMillan, Cancer Research, Marie Curie, NSPCC to name but a few. I also consult to Impetus PEF on their sports related fundraising and help wherever I can with smaller charities such as Thinking Of Oscar who do huge amounts of good on much smaller budgets.
The 2016 challenges that started my passion for doing charity challenges and helping people through my love and passion for sport.
Challenge one we called 'A LONG DAY' (Official World Record attempt)
To complete the most sprint distance triathlons on an official, sanctioned course in 12 hours. This record attempt involves completing each triathlon in full, in the correct order (Swim, bike, run) and over the standard sprint distance triathlon distances of 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run. I will be attempting this at the famous and stunning Blenheim Palace. The race organisers have been amazing and have agreed to keep the course 'live' from 7:45am to 7:45pm (Saturday) specifically for my attempt. You can watch the full TV coverage below.
WHAT HAPPENED: I didn't get awarded the World Record from Guinness, not that anyone else has attempted it or beaten me, but Guinness have their reasons and I have to live with that. However, I did get some amazing TV footage, I covered over 120mile across the three disciplines in the 12hrs, I battled hypothermia and tested my mental strength like never before. Please watch the video below and you can see for yourself...
Challenge two we called 'THE LONGEST BRICK' (Training)
To complete a 12hr brick session in Richmond Park. The course and distances I plan to achieve this challenge over are, two laps of Richmond Park's perimeter road (20km) followed by the Richmond Park Run 5km course. Both courses are far from flat and should provide me with enough of a challenge to raise money for Bloodwise but at the same time mentally and physically prepare me for the challenges in June at Blenhiem.
WHAT HAPPENED: I completed this challenge in April and it was the first challenge of 2016 for me. I started at 4am and managed the 12hrs non-stop covering 190km of cycling and just under 50km of running in the 12hrs. The longest run I have ever done and possibly the most laps I think anyone has ever done around Richmond Park in one day!
Challenges three we called 'MY LONGEST SWIM' (Training)
This challenge originally was to be 100 x 100m off 2minutes swim session totalling 10km. This is a famous swim session but I booked the pool for 5hrs so I decided to swim the 100m efforts for the entire 5hrs even if I go over the 100 x 100m. I have never swum over 10km in a swimming pool so I interested to see what this feels like before I attempt challenge five!
WHAT HAPPENED: I did it! this challenge was completed before the World Record attempt. I actually finished the 10km target well inside the 5hrs I had the lane booked for, so I decided to carry on and make the most of the lane we had hired. I kept going and hit the eventual total of 145 x 100m all off the 2mins, so 14.5km and at this point the longest swimming session I had ever done.
Challenges four we called 'I DON'T USUALLY RUN THIS FAR' (Training)
This challenge is an evolution of challenge four. For challenge five I am planning on completing 200 x 100m off 2minutes in a single swim session. Totalling 20km each, the sessions will be in a swimming pool and I have decided to do a swim + recovery turnaround off 2minutes to allow people to join me. This swim session will test my mental and physical toughness but is actually a challenge I am looking forward to.
WHAT HAPPENED: I did it! It was really tough and I struggled mentally at about 4.5hrs when my arms didn't want to work. However, I completed the 20km in a time of 7hrs and 4mins which made it the longest swim session I have ever done, again!